Bryan Redpath's side, defending an unbeaten record in 2010 before this afternoon, dug deep and competed valiantly but the Tigers, welcoming back a host of internationals were just too strong.
Tries either side of half time effectively killed the Gloucester challenge as a 9-6 scoreline very quickly became 23-6 and Leicester don't lose leads like that.
Gloucester did create some half chances as they chased the game and Jonny May's score was a reward for those efforts but it turned out to be a mere consolation.
Sale are the visitors to Kingsholm next weekend and Gloucester will be itching to get back to winning ways.
Gloucester had to reshuffle at the last minute as Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu failed to shake off the dead leg that he picked up against Harlequins. England U20 centre Jonny May was drafted in to make his first Guinness Premiership start.
Gloucester were given a great chance of early points as the Tigers collected the restart safely but were guilty of blocking as Mefin Davies tried to break clear and Nicky Robinson duly kicked the penalty for a 3-0 lead.
Robinson then had a second opportunity as Lesley Vainikolo followed up his own kick ahead with a fine tackle and got back onto his feet quickly to contest possession and win the penalty. Robinson did the rest for a 6-0 lead.
It was fair to say it was a lively atmosphere as the home crowd took exception to some of referee Wayne Barnes' early decisions!
However, Barnes won the approval of the Welford Road crowd as he penalised the Gloucester front row at a set scrum on 11 minutes and Toby Flood got the Tigers onto the scoreboard with a well struck penalty.
Gloucester then had a real chance as Scott Hamilton fumbled an up and under. Dave Attwood hacked on and Gloucester won possession in a great position in the home 22 but couldn't press home the advantage.
The scrum was proving to be a real contest and Gloucester spent good time in the Leicester half but a half break from Jordan Crane relieved the pressure and Flood levelled the matters as Robinson failed to roll away from the tackle area.
After a shaky start, the home side were now well and truly in the game and looking to make a decisive move. The Gloucester defence held up well until conceding a penalty for pulling a man back off the ball and Flood stroked home the kick for 9-6 after 27 minutes.
The Welford Road crowd were scenting blood and Leicester poured forward looking for a score and Olly Morgan produced one superb clearance to relieve the pressure.
However, the Gloucester defence was working overtime and, when Anthony Allen's quick feet took him through a gap, the line was beckoning but Allen's pass went through the hands of Toby Flood.
Valiant though the defence had been, it couldn't hold out and Lote Tuqiri came off his wing to take a neat inside pass from Flood and sprint over near the posts. Flood converted and the Tigers had a 16-6 lead with half time approaching.
Gloucester hit back and very nearly fashioned a score as they outflanked the home side through Morgan and Qera only for a retreating Tiger to take the key inside pass.
16-6 at half time and some serious thinking for Gloucester to do. After a bright start, Redpath's men were starved of quality possession in the second quarter and the Leicester juggernaut had slowly moved its way through the gears.
Leicester came out firing on all cylinders in the second half as they looked to put Gloucester away and the home forwards were quickly making the hard yards.
Having smashed their way into the Gloucester 22, the ball was swiftly moved left and Geordan Murphy took a great angle onto a Flood pass to slice open the defence and score. Flood converted for 23-6.
Jonny May gave a glimpse of what he can do in attack as Gloucester attacked from deep with the centre making a good 60 metres. But the Tigers defence got back and the chance was gone.
Despite that break, confidence was flowing through the home team and they showed their ambition and intent by starting to kick for the corners in search of further tries with a good half hour to go.
Gloucester weren't quite done themselves and, after a break from their own half, the backs clicked with Molenaar getting over the gain line and Jonny May showing quick feet and strength to make the line. Robinson's conversion shaved the wrong side of the post to leave the score at 23-11.
Gloucester hinted at a comeback as they showed ambition and, against other sides, a second try may well have quickly followed but the Tigers defence was made of stern stuff and in a mood to give nothing away.
Indeed, that pragmatic approach was shown on 70 minutes as Gloucester's back row were found guilty of not binding and Flood kicked his fourth penalty for 26-11 meaning Gloucester would need two scores even for a bonus point.
Despite Gloucester's attempts to keep the ball alive and go for further points, it was the Tigers who had the last word as Ben Youngs darted away from a scrum on the Gloucester 22 and Olly Morgan's despairing tackle couldn't halt the speedy winger. Flood converted to round off the scoring at 33-11.
Gloucester were defeated but far from disgraced. Other teams will suffer far worse defeats here.
Had one or two of the half chances been converted, it could have been a different story and the challenge will be to right the wrongs ahead of next weekend.
|Leicester Tigers Score Card|
|Gloucester Rugby Score Card|